Teaching your Dog with Hand Signs

Teach your dog to obey your combined auditory and visual orders. If the dog is far from you, you can direct it calling him by his name first and then making visual gestures with your hand. That way for example, the dog learns that when the master raises his/her right hand to his face, it means, "sit".

Language Comprehension
Dogs respond better to short and simple words. In order to avoid confusions, choose a one or two syllable name to call your dog, trying not to make it similar to any other common word. Choose a simple word such as "good" or "ok" to complete the order.

The Value of "No"
The word "no" is the most important one a dog should learn because it will keep the dog from doing dangerous things. Giving orders in the right moment and knowing when to say "no" are very important things in a dog's training process. For example, if a shy dog backs away from something that is threatening for the animal -- though you know it really shouldn't be -- but you try to comfort the dog by saying "good", what you are really doing is reinforcing his wrong behavior. In this case, you should firmly say "no" to the dog.

Your Body Language
Dogs pay attention to our body language and they notice if you get distracted or bored during the training session. Be generous with your prizes and expressive when you scold or correct your dog, trying to keep his attention during the whole session.

Training Outside Home
When your dog is able to obey your orders in the quiet environment of your house, move to a quiet place outside and repeat the training sessions. Always try to be in a dominant position in order to be able to impose your orders.

Noisy Rooms
Take your dog to noisier places every time. Your dog should be able to obey your orders in front of and around other dogs.

Finish Playing
Always finish the training sessions with something the dog enjoys and is capable of doing. Play with him, but don't reserve the best prizes for the end of the session. If you do so, your dog will want to finish soon so he can receive the big prize.

Reinforcing Orders
Only give your dog orders when you have him under control. If the dog is on the leash and he doesn't obey your orders, you will have to reinforce them by pulling the leash.

Training Is Not Exercising
Your dog needs exercise and time to play with other dogs and training cannot substitute any of the two things. Make sure your dog does the exercise that his age, breed and temperament require.

Initial Education
Young dogs learn faster, they are willing to learn and haven't acquired any bad customs. Don't wait until your puppy turns six months old to teach him basic orders; you should begin with his education the same day he arrives at your house.

Use a collar that goes with your dog, give him toys and provide him with a private place to sleep and play. Base the dog's initial education program on his food times, give him simple orders and reward him with some food. After a few days, most of the puppies will come and sit when they are ordered to, as long as their food is ready. During this first stage, introduce your dog little by little in what will be the routine of his adult life.

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